Michael Stanley Child Life Fund

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When infants, children, and teens enter the health care setting they leave behind the security of home and sometimes experience separation from family and friends as they enter a world that is unknown.  Normal routines such as sleeping, meals, school and play may change.  These changes, along with those directly related to the injury or illness, in a child’s or teen’s life produce stress and anxiety. The Child Life program at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt helps infants, children, teens, and their families in inpatient and outpatient settings cope with this stress and anxiety.
Child Life Specialists work with patients and families to reduce the stress and anxiety that may be associated with the healthcare experience. They work to meet the developmental, psychosocial, educational, and emotional needs of patients and families by:
  • Promoting normal growth and development through play and activity rooms
  • Providing opportunities to help children enhance their self-esteem and retain appropriate independence
  • Advocating for non-medical needs of patients and families
  • Increasing patients' and families’ understanding of hospital experiences

In order to address social, emotional and psychological needs, Child Life offers the following services:
  • Prepare children, teens and families for hospitalization, procedures, and surgeries in ways they can understand
  • Provide psychological preparation before medical procedures to help patients and families better understand the hospital experience
  • Provide emotional support during and after procedures or stressful events.
  • Address misconceptions and answer questions about health care experiences through play
  • Provide opportunities for medical play, helping children better understand the healthcare experience by addressing misconceptions and answering questions about their experiences
  • Provide play opportunities and peer interactions in the playroom, the adolescent activity room and at bedside
  • Provide sibling support, including education regarding patient’s diagnosis, treatment, and the hospital environment
  • Advocate for family centered care
  • Offer emotional support to parents, siblings, and other family members
  • Coordinate holiday, entertainment, donations, and special visitor vents
  • Facilitate school re-entry
  • Coordinate volunteers to give families breaks, help provide infant stimulation, and play activities for patients

Beth Moore, Director of Community Development, is our contact in the Development Office at Vanderbilt and will be happy to answer any remaining questions you have. 

Beth C. Moore

Director of Community Development

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

3322 West End Avenue, Suite 900

Nashville, TN 37203

Office: 615-343-5229

Fax: 615-936-0236